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Types of Hearing Loss

Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can occur as a result of disruption in the outer, middle or inner ear and is categorized into three types.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

  • Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the cochlea or the auditory nerve is damaged or malformed. It can be either congenital or acquired in origin and is a permanent form of hearing loss.
  • Causes of sensorineural hearing loss include noise exposure, head or neck trauma, aging, infection or disease, malformation or abnormality of the inner ear.

Conductive Hearing Loss

  • Conductive hearing loss occurs when the outer or middle ear is disrupted.
  • Causes of conductive hearing loss include wax impaction, otitis externa, ear infection, along with disruption of the ossicles and physical abnormality of the outer or middle ear.

Mixed Hearing Loss

  • Mixed hearing loss occurs when a person has both a conductive and a sensorineural hearing loss in the same ear.
  • For example, a person with permanent sensorineural hearing loss who also has fluid in the middle ear space would have a mixed hearing loss.

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